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Helen Hanna Casey, Real Estate Maven

I grew up in Shadyside, the daughter of Howard W. Hanna Jr., and Anne Freyvogel Hanna, with an older brother and younger sister. Eventually, all three of us went to small Catholic colleges. My brother, Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna III, to which he has added Howard W. Hanna IV and V, attended John Carroll in …

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Blankenship, Rossi, Rizzo, Peddada, Finkel, Davitt, Reis

Chip Blankenship is CEO of Arconic, the former Alcoa division that makes aluminum and titanium parts for the aerospace and automotive industries. A metallurgist by training, Blankenship began his career with General Electric in 1992 after earning a B.S. in materials engineering from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the …

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Flo’s Wisdom—on the Eve of 50 Years as a Waitress at Pamela’s

Around 1 p.m., right after the lunch rush, 87-year old Flo Silbach will start slowing down. She won’t quit, though. Oh no, no way she’s quitting. Her shift at Pamela’s Diner in Millvale doesn’t end until four. So, instead of shuffling around the tables and booths, jotting down orders in neat cursive and clearing empty …

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Remembering Prominent Pittsburghers Who Passed Away in 2017

From Henry Hillman to Dr. Thomas Starzl, we’ve said goodbye to many influential Pittsburghers this year. Remember those who have passed away and their impact on the region—and the world—in this compilation of our Last Chapter department. Henry Hillman, 98 Henry Hillman had a keen interest in the future and an unusual ability to see into …

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Burger, Beaumont, Fincke, Lowry, Frankel, Papadakos, Dozzi, Troan

Herb Burger, 87: A leading Pittsburgh advertising executive, Burger led the PR effort that created the 1980s slogan, “Pittsburgh: The city with a smile on its face” while president of Creamer Inc. After the firm was sold, Burger started the St. George Group. He was the first chairman of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and was …

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Sarah’s Wisdom Behind the Counter

“Okay, what’s today’s joke?” The guy at the counter orders his Americano, sits down, lets the anticipation build for a few seconds. His eyes are dancing behind thick black glasses, grinning like he’s about to bubble over into a thousand little joy bubbles, because he’s got a joke. Today’s joke. “Okay, ready? Why do restaurants …

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Tommy the Unlikely Donut Man

Tommy Gozion had never made a donut in his entire life. Which was weird, given the fact that he tacked some neon to the storefront along Route 8 and announced to the world that Valencia Donut was open for business. The idea of donuts popped into his head when he was at the beach a …

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All Quiet on the Ohio—Just the Way He Likes It

There’s a lot of sitting and waiting, on a day like this. The water in the Ohio is calm, running chocolate-brown like something out of Willy Wonka’s Factory. Clear, blue sky. A handful of cottony clouds skirting by. Nothing like the winter, when the damned ice ensures you can barely move. When you worry about …

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Thrifty Tom and His Peanut Butter

The 52-ounce can of Planter’s Peanuts came from Sam’s Club. Because they’re the best, really. Extra Large Virginia Peanuts. You’ll never find a bad one in the bunch. And the food processor? Well, yeah, originally it rolled off some assembly line at GE with an outrageous price tag, but here’s the secret: buy them at …

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Ahmad Jamal, Jazz Master

I’ll bet that I’m the only musician ever to record a CD simply titled “Pittsburgh,” which is a tribute to my beloved hometown. It’s a “miracle city,” really. When it comes to industry, culture and the arts, Pittsburgh has contributed more to the world than most people can begin to imagine. Pittsburgh was once home …

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Bart, Pardee, Knapp, Strecker, Purnell, Carpenter, Watson

Dr. Robert Bart is the chief medical information officer of the Health Services Division of UPMC. He will oversee the health system’s efforts to advance the use of electronic health records. A Wisconsin native, he comes to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles, where he held the same position for the Department of Health Services for Los …

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Cahouet, Romero, Needleman, Maher, Donahue, Katz, Robinson

Frank Cahouet, 85: Cahouet rescued Mellon Bank from the brink of failure in the 1980s and restored the fabled Pittsburgh institution to strength. The first outsider to lead the bank when he arrived in 1987, he inherited bad loans and excessive expenses that led to a loss of nearly $1 billion that year. Cahouet aggressively …

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Looking Good

To flip through Hans Jonas’s album, which is indistinguishable on the outside from a family photo album, is to view Pittsburghers as if they were a family: a beloved aunt Sally Wiggin, a hardworking cousin Willie Stargell, and of course, everybody’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. Behind the camera, behind these photographs, is Jonas himself. His …

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A Baker’s Ways

Calling it “Joe’s Bakery” would never work. Who wants to buy pastries from some guy named Joe? At least, that’s what Joe thought. And if Joe thought it, others might be thinking it, too. So, he named his bakery in honor of his daughter, Dana. For the past 37 years, Joe has been turning on …

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Walking the Dog with Dave

Dave has his boss’s dog on a leash. A yippy little black and brown dog the size of a football that is completely oblivious to its unimpressive size, snorting and slobbering its way down the sidewalk near its home on Observatory Hill. It looks like Dave is walking the dog. But the dog is walking …

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The Corner Barber Shop

The guy currently occupying the Emil C. Paidar barber chair circa 1932 showed up at 11:30 a.m., half an hour before the Humble Barber Co. opened for the day. He thought he’d be the first in line. Turns out, he’s second. Which might have seemed odd. But the last time he walked through the doors …

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Christina Cassotis, Allegheny County Airport Authority

I grew up in Southern New Hampshire in essentially a suburb of Boston. My mother was a homemaker, as many women were back then, and my father was a commercial airline pilot for Pan American World Airways, having been a U.S. Marine fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. I’m the oldest of four kids: two …

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Lyke, Harvey, Niepa, Snowden, Oplinger, Dambrot, Rutenbar

Heather Lyke is athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh. She comes to Pittsburgh from Eastern Michigan University where she has been athletic director since 2013, overseeing 21 varsity sports teams. A native of Canton, Ohio, she previously was an athletic administrator at Ohio State University for 15 years and has held positions with the …

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Steger, Sunseri, Sculley, Livingston, Wilkinson, Croce, Cenk

Wilbur Steger, 87: Will Steger was the creator and driving force behind Consad Research, a consulting firm that tackled practical and prospective problems from the streets of Pittsburgh to the White House. After working as an analyst at Rand, Steger left and cofounded Consad, which he ran for more than 50 years. The brilliant and …

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Remembering Three Great Pittsburgh Men

Henry Hillman, 98: Henry Hillman had a keen interest in the future and an unusual ability to see into it. In the 1970s, his was the voice that warned Pittsburgh leaders of industrial changes that would cripple the city if it didn’t diversify its industrial base. He removed money from the smokestack industries he inherited …

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A Fine Suit of Clothes

You’re never going to see him cross his arms. Why risk wrinkling his suit? You’ll also never see him walking around with scuffs on his shoes, covered in dirt from the last steps he took. No chance he’s going to ruin his soles. Has about a gazillion of them. He likes the suedes. Likes his …

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The Voice of…Living

It’s that voice. Like smoldering embers from a raging bonfire, three ice-cold rocks swimming in aged whiskey. No, make that scotch. Deep. Mysterious. Alluring. The no-way-in-hell-you-can-or-want-to-ignore-that voice. “Yeah, all coming from a short, skinny guy in Baden.” The short, skinny guy in Baden is leaning out of his kitchen door, taking a few long drags …

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